Social Networking, of course. I happened upon DoggySpace.com this morning and thought it was funny but also dangerously dancing the line between cute and obsessive. Visitors can come to the site to create a social networking profile for their pooch. They can then choose to flush out basic information like gender and type but also fill in interactivity and comprehensive identity related items such as “about me.”
As a social scientist this makes me wonder about several things:
- How much are people projecting their own personalities onto their pets? Could it be a foray into identity tourism? Who is the man behind the Rottweiler? Why is this person hitting on my Westie?
- Will the site be a feat in misdirection and an indirect contact medium for people interested in meeting or dating others? I mean that’s largely what dog meet-ups are about, right? Nice dog, wanna frak?
- Do you think some bloke will be fan enough of our parents’ culture of fear to request privacy controls for their pet?
- Which dogs get the most friends? Just the ones who are the most active or do you think it’ll have to do with the cuteness/funny factor too?
- Will LOLcatz language dominate exchanges throughout the site? Or we see the spawn of a new tribute to grammar’s demise?
- Is this place more successful than the cat competition, MyCatSpace.com
- How soon until Facebook and MySpace start acquiring sites like this?
You know I still do believe one of the hallmarks of digital literacy is comfort and familiarity with virtual (digital) individual and group identities, but this is a little strange, even for me. Just wait until my mom puts our dog up on there…